Can I trace an underground wire?

Old 06-02-04, 08:51 AM
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Can I trace an underground wire?

I have a shed that is about 200 ft back in my yard and the previous owner ran wiring to it. Last year when I was doing some digging I accidently cut the wire and had to fix it. I want to do some more digging this year and do not want to run into to same problem. Is there a way to trace an underground 120 V AC line without having to dig it up? Would something like a metal detector find it, or is there some sort of Amp trace? Anything?

Old 06-03-04, 09:05 AM
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Devices for tracing underground wire are expensive but you may be able to rent one. Call construction tool rental outlets and ask.
Tom Horne
Old 06-03-04, 09:40 AM
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The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Unless there are obstacles in the way the line probably runs straight from the where the wire leaves the house to the shed. Is the location where you accidently found thie wire on this straight line?
Old 06-03-04, 09:45 AM
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Unfortunately there is a swimming pool in the way that prevents a true straight line. I am sure it takes some sort of diagnal course after it gets past the pool. My true problem is I want to put a french drain in to help move some wanter and want to trench the yard, if I know exactly (or pretty close) where the wire is I can use a trencher up to it and just dig near it by hand. If I have no idea where it is, I would have to dig a much larger area by hand and I REALLY do not want to do that.

What is the name of the device that I would be asking for when I call a rental company?
Old 06-03-04, 06:13 PM
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It's simply an Electric Wire Tracer. Commericial models, apparently go for around $350.00 so for a single job, find a rental.

Basically, they are hooked to one end of the wire - no power of course. They send a radio frequency signal down the wire. The wire acts as an antenna and you track the signal with a special receiver. where you lose the signal is where the break is.

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